macular hole

Macular Holes

Is the center of your field of vision becoming blurry, distorted, or dark? You may have a macular hole.

At Retina & Eye Specialists of New Jersey in Morristown and Hackettstown, NJ, we can perform a simple surgery to correct macular holes.

If you suspect you have a macular hole, contact our team today to schedule an exam with our eye doctors.

Could You Have a Macular Hole?


The primary indicator of a macular hole is a gradual blurring of your central vision. Macular holes do not affect peripheral vision. If reading is becoming progressively more difficult, or if you are developing a dark spot in the center of your vision, you may have a macular hole.

Risk Factors

Macular holes are almost always a result of the natural aging process, and they usually occur in women over the age of 50. In rarer circumstances, macular holes can also be caused by eye injury, inflammation, retinal detachment, and other diseases.

What to Know About Macular Holes

What is the macula?

The macula is a small area in the center of the retina that provides central vision. It is in contact with the vitreous, which is the gel-like substance that fills our eyes. The macula works with the rest of the retinal tissue to convert light rays into signals that are transmitted to the brain, producing the sensation of sight.

What is a macular hole?

Macular holes occur when the macula becomes damaged by the vitreous. As we age, the vitreous becomes more likely to separate from the retina. In some cases, the vitreous will separate from the peripheral retinal tissue but not the macula. It then pulls on the macula, causing a macular hole.

Can macular holes be treated?

Yes! Macular hole surgery, also known as vitrectomy, can correct macular holes and restore your central vision. Dr. Sean Lalin performs macular hole surgery as an outpatient procedure with local anesthetic at Retina & Eye Specialists of New Jersey's state-of-the-art surgery center in Morristown, NJ.

Macular Holes Explained

This video from the American Academy of Ophthalmology quickly explains how macular holes develop.


Let's Improve Your Vision Contact Us for an Exam

If you are experiencing issues with your eyesight, it's time to schedule an appointment at Retina & Eye Specialists of New Jersey.

When you visit one of our locations in Hackettstown or Morristown, Dr. Lalin or Dr. Kruti Shah can take a look at your eyes and conduct the necessary tests in order to provide an accurate diagnosis. If our doctors determine that you have a macular hole, we can schedule you for macular hole surgery as soon as possible.

Requesting an appointment at our ophthalmology practice is easy. You can fill out our simple online form, or you can call:

(973) 871-2020

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Patient Testimonial

"Dr Lalin is by far a blessing    his staff really have their act together  everyone works as a team .   I came all the way from FLA because Dr Lalin came so highly recommended ... so  glad I did  he is truly the best !"
Sylvia Thiede, 5-Star Google Review

Diagnosing Macular Holes

Your optometrist may be able to detect macular holes during your annual or bi-annual eye exam, which is why it's essential to schedule comprehensive eye exams even if you don't have symptoms of an eye disorder or disease. If you're experiencing symptoms of a macular hole, visit us in Hackettstown or Morristown, NJ, as soon as possible for an examination. The diagnostic process is fairly straightforward, consisting of two steps:

Dilating the Eyes 

Your optometrist begins by dilating your eyes using eye drops to widen your pupils. Dilating your eyes gives your optometrist a clear view of your retina and other structures at the back of the eye. Using a special lens, your eye doctor can see if they spot any abnormalities in your retina. 

Capturing the Eye

If you have symptoms that point to a macular hole or if your optometrist sees an abnormality in your retina that may indicate a retinal condition, they will capture a high-quality picture of your retina to review using optical coherence tomography. 

Macular Hole Surgery Explained

This video from the American Academy of Ophthalmology provides a quick explanation of how retinal surgeons like Dr. Lalin treat macular holes.


Vitrectomy Step-by-Step

Dr. Lalin will begin the vitrectomy by administering a local anesthetic to ensure your comfort during the procedure. 
Dr. Lalin will begin the vitrectomy by administering a local anesthetic to ensure your comfort during the procedure. 

Preparation and Incisions

When you arrive at our fully equipped surgical center, Dr. Lalin will first make sure that you are comfortable and prepared for surgery. Then, he will begin the procedure by administering a local anesthetic. Next, he will make tiny incisions in the white of the eye.

Vitreous Removal

Dr. Lalin will insert a precise surgical instrument through the incision. He will use this instrument to remove the vitreous from your eye. If necessary, he may also remove some membranes that are in contact with the macula.

Gas Bubble

Finally, Dr. Lalin will insert a gas bubble into your eye. The gas bubble will close the macular hole and reduce the risk of retinal detachment while the macular hole heals. Over time, the gas bubble will disappear on its own.

Start Treatment Request a Consultation

Macular holes are treatable, and our eye doctors are here to help. Our ambulatory surgery center is fully equipped to care for your eye condition using the same state-of-the-art technology you'd find in a hospital. If you're experiencing symptoms of a macular hole, start the process by contacting our Hackettstown or Morristown, NJ, practices:

(973) 871-2020

"These doctors and staff are at the top of my list." Praise From Morristown and Hackettstown Patients


eoin gibson


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Relocated from Ireland to the US, where I had two of the best eye specialists in Europe, so I made sure that i did my research in the US to find one of the top eye specialusts. Fortunately I found Dr Sean Lalin's practice. He comes highly recommended, and the eye surgeries I've had here have been excellent. Not to forget his staff who are all super supportive, professional, courteous and friendly.

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Charlie McNeil


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My experiences with Dr. Lalin, Dr. Shah, and the staff were exceptional. Highly skilled and professional, they offered a comprehensive evaluation and options for treatment. I have had over 5 decades of eye exams, glasses, and evaluations and these doctors and staff are at the top of my list. Excellent!

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Recovery from Macular Hole Surgery

There may be some soreness or discomfort in your eyes after the procedure. Dr. Lalin will provide instructions and any necessary prescriptions to manage the discomfort, which will subside relatively quickly.

You will most likely have to wear some sort of eye patch for a short time after surgery, and you will need to administer special eye drops as instructed.

Most importantly, you will need to remain in a face-down position for at least two days. This ensures that the gas bubble stays in place and allows your eye to heal. Also, you will need to avoid activities that can cause your eye pressure to fluctuate, such as airplane travel or scuba diving. Dr. Lalin will explain when it is safe to return to your normal routine.

Macular Wrinkles

Macular wrinkles, also known as macular puckers, are similar to macular holes, but less severe. When the vitreous sticks to the macula, but doesn't cause a hole, it may leave scar tissue on the macula, which results in blurred central vision. This scar tissue is the macular wrinkle.

Mild cases generally do not require treatment and usually just warrant observation. In some cases, topical drops or medication administered into the eye can help improve vision.

In more severe cases, vitrectomy surgery is required to remove the macular pucker or scar tissue from the retina. However, unlike macular hole surgery, only a small number of patients require an air or gas bubble to close any holes or breaks in the retina. A small number of patients have persistent swelling that can require ongoing treatment with topical drops or intravitreal medications.

Macular Pucker Repair diagram with vitrectomy instrument taking out macular pucker

Other Conditions and Diseases Our Eye Doctors Treat

Our eye doctors in Morristown and Hackettstown treat various retinal and non-retinal eye disorders and diseases affecting our patients. A few examples of eye conditions we can treat or manage include: 


Cataracts cause a clouding of the lens at the front of the eye due to a buildup of proteins. We offer blade-free laser cataract surgery to restore your vision safely and effectively. We also offer the new Symfony Lens, a premium intraocular lens that can eliminate the need for many patients to wear glasses after cataract surgery. 

Learn More About Cataracts

Retinal Detachment

Retinal detachment involves the thin retinal layer pulling away from the back of the eye. This condition must be treated promptly to preserve vision. Various treatments exist to correct the detachment of the retina, including a vitrectomy.

Explore Retinal Detachment


Glaucoma is a result of pressure building on the optic nerve. It's a progressive condition that cannot be cured but can be managed. Treatment should be sought immediately to prevent permanent damage to the optic nerve, which may cause blindness.

Read About Glaucoma

Hackettstown and Morristown, NJ, Patients Thank Our Team


Dolores Rizza


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I had cataract surgery yesterday. I highly recommend Dr. lalin and his surgical team. They are caring and supportive. My vision is very good now. Look forward to my next eye next week. Dr. Lalin called that night to see how I felt. Very glad I chose Dr. lalin

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Mike B


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Amazing. I can see like I am 18 again. I had no idea how badly cataracts had impacted my vision. I only knew something was wrong. Based on his excellent reputation, I called Dr. Lalin. He replaced the affected lenses in both eyes. 

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Staff at Retina & Eye Specialists of New Jersey

Retina & Eye Specialists of New Jersey

At Retina & Eye Specialists of New Jersey, our ophthalmologists use state-of-the-art techniques to help patients achieve clear vision and return to the activities that they love. Our affiliations include:

  • The American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
  • The American Optometric Association
  • The New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians

Request a consultation online today or call (973) 871-2020 to find out how you can benefit from our care.

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